Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Iranian Saber Rattling- Don't Panic

Iran has been threatening to close the Straits of Hormuz- again. They do this periodically. I doubt very much it will actually happen. I think this is “North-Koreaesq”/”Saddamesq” game playing of a desperate regime. What they really want is a spike in energy prices to further weaken Western economies. They are using the tools they have.

The Iranian government is weak and slowly collapsing. There have been reports of tensions between the Ayatollahs and Ahmadinejad. The latest round of sanctions is aimed at the Iranian Central Bank and seeks to hasten the process. And while we haven’t heard much publicly about the Green Movement, it is alive and well underground. It still threatens the regime. Choking off money with these sanctions will fan the coals. That is what we want.

Some have speculated that the saber rattling over Hormuz is intended to draw first fire from the US or its allies, which would then re-entrench the current government and its Ayatollahs. I doubt they are hoping to get the US to shoot first, but they may be baiting Israel. With the Syrian regime weakened, Israel is probably feeling queasier than usual. But Iranians are intelligent gamblers. They know we won’t strike militarily in an election year. We don’t have the money. They do know what a spike in Energy prices would do. The mere threat has already caused a spike. But then, it doesn't take much to cause an oil price hike.

Another news commentator on NPR said that Saudi is increasing its oil production and that we are hoping for Libya’s oil to come back on line as well as Iraqi oil. I wouldn’t count on that. Iraqi security is obviously a problem and the Iraqi government isn’t going to do too much to anger its Shia cousins in Tehran. We may have live with higher oil prices and take the hit.

We should not underestimate the game Iran has been playing over the last 30 years. They have been more effective that Libya ever was at creating terror cells. They have kept their population poor by turning their oil money into guerrilla movements, like Hezbollah and Hamas. But they have also funded several other groups in places like Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and India. This is well known and documented. I myself have commented on it several times in this blog. Wherever there was an opening for insecurity and mayhem, Iranian money could be found. It’s a rogue state- but a very ancient civilization that has survived by skillfully playing diplomatic and military games. So while we should be wary, we should not panic. We need to see this for what it is. The worst thing we could do is to attack or allow our allies to attack!


Raised By Republicans said...

Good advice not to panic! Regimes like Iran's are also doing this for a domestic audience as often as not.

USWest said...

Besides, they need the Straits to get their oil to market. They won't cut their own nose to spite their face.

Raised By Republicans said...

Well their biggest buyer, the EU, just voted to stop buying from Iran so the Iranians may not be shipping as much oil as they are used to.

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